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  • Archive for March, 2009

    The sad demise of a dalek pen

    2009 - 03.28

    “I can’t believe you had three people searching Starbucks for a dalek pen!” says Trudi, this morning, on hearing a passionate but significantly condensed version of the following tale.  Personally I find it hard to believe that a blog could ever possibly be called “The sad demise of a dalek pen”, which just goes to show that life can be full of surprises.


    So. I have managed to mislay my black pen somewhere between yesterday morning and today, which is most inconvenient as I write in my daily writing diary in tri colour, and these things Are Important.

    Not to worry, I called instead on my beloved Dalek pen. Do not mock me, my friends, for it has a distinguished history.


    Points of Perspective

    2009 - 03.06

    I love old towns. I’m a Houdini at escaping the real world at the best of times, but these old cities like Cambridge, Oxford, Venice, Verona, and the spectacularly ruined centre of Coventry really facilitate the my passage through the secret doors connecting reality with fantasy.

    In particular they call me back to ancient Attica, from which I have been largely absent too long, while working on Sieren & Rael. S&R has room for historical play, with much of the action taking place in London’s old and forgotten places, but Attica exists in a gloriously pre-industrial age of stone and wood, where major building works were started on 100 year schedules and thousands of tonnes of stone seal masterpieces designed with a piece of paper, pencil and abacus.

    Wandering around Cambridge on the weekend, I was preoccupied with a point of perspective. My Attican novels – Attica being the world in which these tales take place, sadly not as inventively mad as Discworld, but full of the unexpected nonetheless – consist of two series, based around the main characters of Lien and Arete respectively and in the planning phase, clock in at roughly twelve books. This is an entirely accidental number. I was aiming for more like 6, but the damn things kept multiplying.


    Nostradamus got it wrong

    2009 - 03.05

    Two weeks ago, work was so exciting that I pimped myself out to Marketing in desperation – before Hollie pointed out to me that I was about to take six days off (“That fitness course you’re doing – remember that? It’s next week…”). Marketing were pleased to see me and passed over a few programme synopses for a new History microsite. It was the most bizarre afternoon and I realised how much I miss working on the History site. Bio is fun, but History is fascinating and there’s a big difference between the two.

    Firstly I wrote and sifted through images of 9-11 for a programme called 201 Minutes That Changed America, and was genuinely startled to find how distant that event now seemed. I was reminded of how time might be the great healer, but only through theft – her inexorable passage takes us away from trauma and love alike, and I think we must at times fight against this widening distance.

    Marketing were also featuring two programmes about Nostradamus, and writing those synopses has completely changed Sieren & Rael. The opening is still giving me a headache and as I pondered the many problems biking my way home, I joking thought that the cataclysmic Second Coming from the story could have been the event that Nostradamus, the Mayans, the Hopi Prophecies, the Sibyline Books and the I Ching allegedly predict will ‘end the world’ on a predetermined schedule.


    The re-education begins…

    2009 - 03.05

    24 Feb 2009

    The ‘Sieren & Rael’ rewrite is… going. Clearly not well enough to seduce me away from the procrastinatory evils of blogging, but going nonetheless. At this point in time I genuinely cannot tell whether it’s getting better, or being murdered outright. Writing blows sometimes.

    I had literally too many choices for my Facebook status update last night. In the end, I settled for ‘Adele now knows how to use a crunchie bar as an educational anatomical tool’ which, in hindsight, may not have been such a brilliant idea – but it did amuse and was technically correct. If I have the pressing need to procrastinate later in the week, I will explain all.

    But to matters at hand: I’m steam training towards (another) redundancy at History. I must be going to set a track record for the company. Though not ‘redundancy’ of the official kind with financial benefits, I should clarify – just the ‘ha ha, we never put you on a permanent contract again’ kind.